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Trump admin says COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory, will be distributed within 24 hours of FDA approval

Operation Warp speed

Dr. Scott Atlas of the White House's coronavirus task force speaks to the media as U.S. President Donald J. Trump looks on during a news conference Wednesday at the White House. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced Friday that a COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed within 24 hours of completion of phase 3 trials and FDA approval, with all Americans having access to the vaccine by April, according to the Daily Caller.

Speed has been the priority in the pursuit of a vaccine to provide relief to the country from the pandemic, as evidenced by the name of the initiative: Operation Warp Speed. From the Daily Caller:

"Since January, America's brilliant doctors and scientists have been working been working around the clock, the best medical minds in the world by far and the vaccines are going through the gold standard of clinical trials, very heavy emphasis placed on safety," Trump told reporters at the top of his Friday afternoon press conference. "Three vaccines are already in the final stage."

The president further stated that "as part of Operation Warp Speed, my administration has manufactured one of the most promising vaccines in advance, and it will be fairly long in advance, as soon as a vaccine is approved, the administration will deliver it to the American people immediately. Distribution will begin within 24 hours."

Trump said there should be enough doses by April for every American to have access to the vaccine.

Concerns about how safe the vaccine will be, combined with new perspective on just how heavily governments may impose requirements on citizens in an emergency, have led some to be skeptical about taking a vaccine for COVID-19.

Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House coronavirus response task force, assured the public that they will have a choice in the matter.

"By April, every single American who wants to be vaccinated will have the ability to be vaccinated," Atlas said. "It's not a forced vaccination."

Nearly half of surveyed Americans have said they will either definitely or probably not get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Pew Research Center. Of that group, 76% of them cite fear of side effects as a major concern, and 72% of them say they want to know more about how well it works.

From Pew Research:

There are widespread public concerns about aspects of the vaccine development process. On the heels of a pledge from nine pharmaceutical companies to ensure that a potential vaccine would meet rigorous standards, the Center survey finds three-quarters of Americans (77%) think it's very or somewhat likely a COVID-19 vaccine will be approved in the United States before its safety and effectiveness are fully understood. And when asked about the pace of the vaccine approval process, 78% say their greater concern is that it will move too fast, without fully establishing safety and effectiveness, compared with just 20% who are more concerned approval will move too slowly, creating unnecessary delays.
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